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Honest John questions & answers

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For years and years my mother has saved me the motoring section from her Saturday Daily Torygraph as I always used to discuss and laugh about  the Honest John Q&A with my dad when he was alive. I still read this, but no longer have anyone to talk about the comments to. Mrs Concern will sometimes feign interest, but other than that...

Here we go, starting with a proper AS topic and I did wonder if someone on here posed the question

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So a 1994 Mondeo applies its own brakes hard for 30 minutes and then no trace of a fault can be found. HJ's answer that a compensator valve that should have been part of a recall is likely to blame. Is he right? What does AS think?

Next a question for the modern section, but still...

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So here we have a modern Audi with an auto box (DSG so auto controlled manual I think) and the advice is to not sit with the car in drive while the engine is running or it will wear it out in double quick time. Isn't that the whole point of having an auto, so you can just forget the stick and use the brake to creap along in traffic? If you can't do this what is the point of it?

Next another modern one I'd like answered..

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So to me it looks like the new petrol cars are now like diesels in that they now have a particulate filter that cloggs up if the car is used for short journeys. All I can say is WTF? I'll stick to my 2011 car and a pushbike thanks haha!

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9 minutes ago, Asimo said:

Don't see that a brake compensator valve could cause spontaneous brake operation, it's just a pressure limiter in the hydraulic line to the rear brakes.

So what could it have been?

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11 minutes ago, FakeConcern said:

So what could it have been?

Operator error - far too many people are driving beyond their years to control a car safely. Braking is a new one and safer than the stamp the foot down hard on the accelerator instead of the brake error but, given the Tory graph demographic a likely answer. Brakes do not operate on their own, they need an input.

 

ps. I’ve had the rear drums on the 2cv stick on ( after application of the brakes), and the front brakes on the fiat due to a collapsed flexi hose. But this was after braking, not on their own.

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4 minutes ago, richardmorris said:

Operator error - far too many people are driving beyond their years to control a car safely. Braking is a new one and safer than the stamp the foot down hard on the accelerator instead of the brake error but, given the Tory graph demographic a likely answer. Brakes do not operate on their own, they need an input.

I get that for old people driving their first auto and demographic thing, but this sounds like someone who had a car for a while and also, brakes locked on for 30 minutes?

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Weird, isn’t it. But if you don’t touch the brake it won’t work. They can seize on ( as in my experience above ), but as far as I know, brakes have no other input and no way of working on their own ( certainly not on a mid nineties ford anyway).

Really also don’t discount an experienced ( elderly ) driver having a panic attack ( and not realising ) and stamping hard on the brake pedal.  Perhaps it had never had a brake fluid change and so boiled, so preventing it moving for 30mins? I’m not convinced really. 

 

Not really connected, but my mum ( who doesn’t drive) was getting a lift home from choir practice one night and her lift couldn’t find the headlight switch. She’d had the car ten years, turned out to be Alzheimer’s and she was 55.

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8 minutes ago, richardmorris said:

Weird, isn’t it. But if you don’t touch the brake it won’t work. They can seize on ( as in my experience above ), but as far as I know, brakes have no other input and no way of working on their own ( certainly not on a mid nineties ford anyway).

Really also don’t discount an experienced ( elderly ) driver having a panic attack ( and not realising ) and stamping hard on the brake pedal.  

Still doesn't explain stuck on for 30 minutes unless the old codger was sitting with his foot pressed on the middle pedal all the time! Not really on topic, but this is why I advised my mum not to get an auto when she wanted one about 20 years ago, she's now 92 and still driving. Me & my sister go out with her to check she's ok and still better tha 90% of drivers (IMO)

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Just now, richardmorris said:

Oh, age isn’t an issue in and of itself. But I don’t think the article has the full story. Call me cynical!

 

Sorry I didn't mean to suggest you thought it was. If you are cynical then I am too and I totally agree hence why I chose this story in the first place Haha

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My dad always moans about honest john (they subscribe to the guardian but buy the telegraph on Saturdays for the crosswords). That if the gearbox problems of fords and BMWs (for example) are a well known weak point why don’t they do something about it. A problem with people writing to newspapers ( or car magazines etc) is that we only have their side of the story.  

Apart from this forum how many people in the uk are running round in a 1995 mondeo, and of those how many are going to rely on writing to the telegraph for help, rather than believing their usual garage? 

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4 minutes ago, wuvvum said:

I had an LDV 400 which used to gradually pull its own brakes on as you drove.  It was down to a dodgy master cylinder.

The pressure is on one side though- or was the weight of the pedal alone enough to force a weak piston down?

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Seals in the vacuum servo swelling causing the piston in the master cylinder to not fully retract, after a few uses it sticks far enough down the lock the brakes on. Over the next 30mins the seals slowly slide allowing the piston back in to position giving the pedal a normal feel.

I've actually seen something similar on a landcruiser when brake fluid had managed to leak into the servo after a failed master cylinder, the owner replaced the master cylinder without realising.

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2 minutes ago, mrdelmonti said:

Seals in the vacuum servo swelling causing the piston in the master cylinder to not fully retract, after a few uses it sticks far enough down the lock the brakes on. Over the next 30mins the seals slowly slide allowing the piston back in to position giving the pedal a normal feel.

I've actually seen something similar on a landcruiser when brake fluid had managed to leak into the servo after a failed master cylinder, the owner replaced the master cylinder without realising.

That sounds like a plausable explanation; Giffer hits brake by accident, piston sticks & slowly retracts over next 30 mins.

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If the brake pedal is not adjusted correctly, i.e. it does not allow the master cylinder piston to return fully to enable the port to the reservoir to be opened, the brakes will work normally as long as the fluid does not warm up and expand.  If the brakes are applied reasonably hard or for long enough, it can take about a minute for sufficient heat to be conducted to the fluid, causing it to expand and re-apply the brakes if moving again, or lock them on until things cool down.  Solution: adjust the pedal to allow the master cylinder to operate correctly, usually achieved by having a mm or two of free movement before the master cylinder actuation rod moves. 

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With regards to modern petrols, I've heard somewhere that they are going to be fitted with particulate filters like diesels are.

 

Edit, VW group cars have been so fitted since last year though I'm not sure if it's all or only some. 

Edited by Eyersey1234
Adding extra information

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11 minutes ago, mrdelmonti said:

Not all VW's currently, mostly the 2.0tsi cars, Golf GTi, Golf R etc. Won't be long until they all go that way though.

Thanks mrdelmonti

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Many modern autoboxes are prone to clutch wear if allowed to sit in traffic with the engine running, hence the advice in handbooks to keep the stop/start switched on and active.  My Mitsubishi CVT has an automatic clutch.  It has stop/start which can be deactivated but this has to be done every time you get in the car and reaching the switch is a long stretch.  I dislike the older designs of stop start/systems (=my 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage) because they are slow witted and tend to eat starter motors, batteries and flywheels.  I just flick the auto in to neutral if I'm stopped in traffic. Later stop/start systems have components designed to do the job rather than standard bits simply activated by a computer.  Proper automatics i.e. with a slush box, will happily sit in traffic burning fuel whilst harmlessly stirring oil.  Non of this silly switch off nonsense is required if you can afford the thirst and like upsetting environmentalists 😀.

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I had brakes fail to work on a fully loaded 240 , then they were alright 5 mins later ,,, turns out the vac hose to the brake booster gets hot when you are stood in traffic ....

and the vacuum makes it collapse ... sealing off the vacuum from the brake booster .

quite a hard one to sort out if the first time it happens is when you need the brakes !!!  ,

which in my case was when a BMW cut across me and my car would not slow down !!! 

and  always has me looking at the pipe in engine pictures of old volvos and wondering if it has been changed !

 

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A what car should I get clipping next...IMG_8231.thumb.JPG.b2717ce5d45373381287e8d83deda28f.JPG

The question as to whether a Pug 406, Citroen C5 or Rover 75 is kind of achademic if you're criteria is that £500 is the top price (IMO) surely go for the best example that can be found at that price. Interesting that Barefoot is currently thinking of buying either a 406 or a 75!

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On 6/14/2019 at 11:54 PM, sierraman said:

Honest John as he’s called talks bollocks. 

I agree, the fucker has irritated me for years. I remember someone complaining that they were having huge problems with the EPB on a Land Rover, His reply was that the vehicle had done 190,000 miles they should think themselves lucky to have done so well. WHAT? you're to scrap the vehicle because of a parking brake, potentially one of the most simple devices on the entire car, made complex just for the sake of it! And he won't discuss older cars because, 'I was brought up with cars in the 60's and old cars were all bangers' Fuck off John, 50 years later and an older car is as different from a 60's vehicle as that was from a model T Ford. HJ is a complete fucking wank puffin.

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He got onto a thing at one point of no matter what prerequisites people asked for in a car he’d suggest a Honda Jazz. A while back someone wrote in wanting an economical car for the motorway and he suggested a Toyota Yaris....

It just highlights how out of his depth he is. He’s no more a motoring journalist than he is a consumer rights ‘expert’. 

 

In fact I won’t have the Telegraph or the Daily Mail in my house. I find it amazing they can write such utter bollocks, so much so I’ll not let a copy go near the threshold of my door. 

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